The Montana Highway Patrol has concluded a collision between a fire engine and a pickup truck that killed six people was caused by a mechanical failure in the fire engine’s drivetrain.
Lt. Col. Greg Watson is deputy chief of the patrol. He told reporters Tuesday that on June 19, Three Forks Fire Chief Todd Rummel lost control of the 2002 International fire engine and veered into oncoming traffic on U.S. Highway 12.
The pickup truck’s driver tried to avoid the fire engine but could not. Watson says the catastrophic crash punctured the engine’s fuel tank.
Diesel sprayed across the area and ignited, engulfing both vehicles.
Watson says Rummel died of smoke inhalation while unconscious, and Matthew Boegli, Crystal Ross and their three young children died upon impact.
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